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1948: Can we have some lighting please?

Updated: Jun 29, 2022

Halleighs, Brook Street

At a meeting of the Cuckfield Rural Parish Council in the Queen's Hall on August 28 [1948] it was decided to ask for a precept of £100 on the Cuckfield Rural District Council (amounting to a little less than a 1.5 rate) in respect of the lighting system which the Parish Council propose to inaugurate in Ansty, Brook Street and Staplefield.

The Clerk (Mr H Plummer) reported that the Ministry of Fuel and Power was unable at present to release materials for public lighting except in those cases where the requirements were for the restoration of a lighting system which was use before the war. A more hopeful letter had been received, however, from the Central Sussex Electricity Co. Ltd. who, in spite of shortage of labour and other difficulties, indicated the possibility of street lighting being provided before the end of the year.

Mr Plummer observed that in view of this possibility it would be advisable to ask for the precept.

Lighting in bygone days

Brook Street street lighting today, 74 years on

A remark by Mr. Plummer that “I never expected to live to see lighting in Brook Street .” led to a number of amusing reminiscences from other members of the way some sort of lighting was provided in the villages in bygone days.

It was reported that the present balance of the Council amounted to £25 0s.11d, and it was decided to ask for a further precept on the Cuckfield Rural District Council of £30.

The Council decided to take no action in the matter of nominating a person for co-option to the Cuckfield Rural District Council in the place of Mrs BY Bevan, who recently resigned as one of the representatives of the Cuckfield Rural area on that Council.

In addition to the Chairman (Mr C Webber), other members present were Mr BJ Burtenshaw, JP, Mr WE Mitchell, Mr AH Stacey and Mr AJ Green.


The Mid Sussex Times, 5 September 1948

Top photo: Halleighs, Brook Street, Whitemans Green,

Contributed by Malcolm Davison.

With the old open copper cable method of electricity distribution there were 5 cables as seen in the pictures. Not always in the same order, they were neutral, the three phases and the street light control cable. Where ever a street light was fixed to a pole, the neutral wires were connected together and the live was connected to the control wire. Further up the road would be a time switch controlling a particular area. When the clocks changed, the time switches all had to be altered manually ! If the switch went faulty, you could have dozens of lights on permanently or never coming on at all. Nowadays each light has a sensor and they come on as it gets dark, a strange thing to see is them coming on during eclipses.



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